'Smart' Brighton earn first clean sheet of season

5 months ago 643
James Milner (left) and Ben JohnsonJames Milner (left) made his 632nd Premier League appearance, putting him joint second alongside Ryan Giggs in the all-time list

West Ham and Brighton shared the points in a dour Premier League goalless draw at London Stadium.

Brighton had the bulk of possession and better chances in their first match of the new year.

But they were unable to break through a West Ham defence which has now kept four consecutive clean sheets.

A point moves Brighton into seventh place, above Manchester United, while West Ham are three points further ahead in sixth.

In a first half low on quality and chances, West Ham came closest to taking the lead when James Ward-Prowse's powerful volley was saved by the legs of Jason Steele.

For Brighton, Jack Hinshelwood and Pascal Gross were both denied by point-blank stops from home keeper Alphonse Areola.

Brighton continued to dominate possession after the break, Areola again having to react sharply to Pervis Estupinan's low shot on 55 minutes before Joao Pedro shot straight at the Frenchman after a mazy run.

Tomas Soucek poked wide from six yards in West Ham's clearest second-half chance, before Jakub Moder slashed over for Brighton from close range in the closing minutes.

Relive West Ham v Brighton from our BBC Sport text coverageHow did you rate West Ham's performance? Have your say hereWhat did you make of Brighton's display? Send us your views here

Brighton finally keep league clean sheet

While this was the first match of 2024 for both sides, it was also the final Premier League fixture of the hectic festive period - which perhaps played a role in the low tempo and lack of opportunities.

West Ham missed the injured Lucas Paqueta, while there are also signs that Mohammed Kudus will be a big loss when he is on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Ghana.

Vladimir Coufal, amid reports he is unhappy with his contract situation and seeking a move away from London Stadium in January, was also absent from the matchday squad.

In poor conditions brought about by Storm Henk, neither side were able to raise enough energy to claim three points as both look ahead to a new year which has the potential for much more excitement.

Both sides remain firmly in the hunt for European qualification - and there is the chance they could meet in the latter stages of the Europa League, having won their respective groups to gain automatic passage to the last 16.

They also both had reasons to celebrate a clean sheet - for West Ham, their fourth successive shutout in the Premier League equals their club record.

Brighton, meanwhile, ended a club-record run of 23 successive league games without keeping a clean sheet, despite the absence of defender and captain Lewis Dunk through suspension.

Line-ups

West Ham

Formation 4-2-3-1

23Areola2JohnsonBooked at 31mins15Mavropanos21Ogbonna33Emerson19Álvarez28Soucek8Fornals7Ward-Prowse22BenrahmaSubstituted forMubamaat 73'minutes20Bowen

Substitutes

1Fabianski3Cresswell17Cornet18Ings32Coventry42Casey45Mubama53Laing61Orford

Brighton

Formation 4-3-1-2

23Steele41Hinshelwood4WebsterSubstituted forModerat 74'minutes29van Hecke30Estupiñán13Groß11Gilmour40BuonanotteSubstituted forLallanaat 74'minutes6Milner18WelbeckSubstituted forFergusonat 67'minutes9João Pedro

Substitutes

1Verbruggen8Dahoud14Lallana15Moder20Baleba28Ferguson43Samuels47Baker-Boaitey52Kavanagh

Referee:Samuel Barrott

Attendance:62,462

Live Text

Match ends, West Ham United 0, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

Second Half ends, West Ham United 0, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

Attempt saved. Jack Hinshelwood (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Pervis Estupiñán with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Hinshelwood.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Foul by Evan Ferguson (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Adam Lallana (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Pascal Groß.

Attempt missed. Jakub Moder (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt blocked. Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Milner with a cross.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Ben Johnson (West Ham United).

Attempt missed. Evan Ferguson (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Pascal Groß with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Evan Ferguson (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Lallana.

Jan Paul van Hecke (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Divin Mubama (West Ham United).

Attempt saved. Adam Lallana (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jakub Moder.

Attempt missed. Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by James Milner with a cross.

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Adam Lallana replaces Facundo Buonanotte.

Player of the match

GilmourBilly Gilmour

with an average of 7.45

West Ham United

Squad number23Player nameAreola

Squad number19Player nameÁlvarez

Squad number15Player nameMavropanos

Squad number21Player nameOgbonna

Squad number20Player nameBowen

Squad number33Player nameEmerson

Squad number7Player nameWard-Prowse

Squad number28Player nameSoucek

Squad number2Player nameJohnson

Squad number8Player nameFornals

Squad number45Player nameMubama

Squad number22Player nameBenrahma

Brighton & Hove Albion

Squad number11Player nameGilmour

Squad number9Player nameJoão Pedro

Squad number14Player nameLallana

Squad number29Player namevan Hecke

Squad number6Player nameMilner

Squad number41Player nameHinshelwood

Squad number13Player nameGroß

Squad number30Player nameEstupiñán

Squad number23Player nameSteele

Squad number28Player nameFerguson

Squad number40Player nameBuonanotte

Squad number18Player nameWelbeck

Squad number4Player nameWebster

Squad number15Player nameModer

Read Entire Article